These 4 speedlights will give you the biggest bang for your buck

best cheap speedlights 11552026  paparazzi photographer in action
Yongnuo/123RF
Whether you’re in need of more light inside a dim wedding venue, or are hoping to dabble in the world of studio lighting, one of the most cost-effective means of getting into artificial lighting is to purchase a speedlight. These devices, for the unfamiliar, are small flash modules that attach to cameras and accessories using an integrated hot shoe mount. They’re powered via batteries, most often AA, and can be fired either wirelessly or through the hot shoe when attached to a camera. They’re small — at least, compared to more heavy-duty studio lights — self-contained, and offer an incredible amount of lighting for their size and price.

Large camera companies — such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. — make a handful of speedlights, but if you’re looking for something a little more affordable, it’s best to go the third-party route. To help you navigate the crowded market, we’ve rounded up four of the best budget speedlight offerings that cover a range of prices and power – all costing $70 or less.

Neewer NW-610II

best cheap speedlights neewer nw 610ii thumb

If you like to pack light, or simply have a smaller camera setup, it might make sense to go for a smaller speedlight. One of the best you’re going to find is the Neewer NW-610II, a universal speedlight designed to work with everything from mirrorless to DSLR cameras.

The device’s streamlined design is smaller than its full-sized counterparts, but it still packs a punch with a guide number of 27 (the higher the number, the more powerful the light). Its flash head is also adjustable in locking increments of 0, 60, 75, and 90 degrees, which offers greater creative control than other compact speedlights. The Neewer NW-610II is powered by two AA batteries, which allow it to fire off somewhere between 100 and 680 flashes, depending on the power and type of battery you use.

Price: $40

Amazon

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash

Moving on up, both in size and power, we have Amazon’s proprietary speedlight, the AmazonBasics Electronic Flash. Designed specifically with DSLRs in mind, this speedlight is a bit larger than our last pick, yet, it offers a bit more functionality because of it.

Its guide number is 33 — making it only marginally more powerful — but its rotating/tilting head, built-in diffuser, and eight brightness levels allow for more control over where the flash is facing when fired.

Amazon says it works with both Canon and Nikon cameras, but in manual mode, it should work with most any camera. The flash even includes an integrated slave mode for triggering multiple units at once, so long as you have a master unit attached to your camera.

Price: $28

Amazon

Yongnuo YN560 IV

Yongnuo YN560 IV

If you need something more robust than Amazon’s basic offering, Yongnuo’s YN560 IV might be what you’re looking for. The fourth-gen of the affordable speedlight that arguably started the budget trend, the YN 560IV is a solid iteration of what was already an impressive speedlight for the value.

Inside the YN560 IV is a wireless triggering system that works alone, or hand-in-hand with Yongnuo’s collection of radio transmitters, thus helping to create a wireless lighting setup that doesn’t rely on fickle, visual-based triggers.

The speedlight still lacks through the lens (TTL) control, but considering the price, manual is to be expected. The guide number is 58, too, so you should be getting a great deal more power from this than Amazon’s aforementioned offering.

Price: $70

Amazon

Neewer NW660 III

Neewer NW660 III

Neewer has made its name known with an excellent lineup of wears, many of which, like the aforementioned NW-610II, are just as affordable as those from other third-party manufacturers. This is namely because the company’s speedlights tout just as many, if not more, features than you’d find on most competing flashes that fall within the same price range — just take the NW660 III as a prime example.

This speedlight features a built-in, 2.4GHz wireless triggering system, which works alongside Neewer’s other speedlights and wireless triggers to create a wireless workflow. Other features include an E-TTL mode, high-speed sync, rear-curtain sync, and high-speed bursts that allow for up to 12 flashes a second.

Whether used alone on your hotshoe or in conjunction with other flash systems, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more capable speedlight at this price point.

Price: $65

Amazon

Photography

Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

This A.I.-powered camera follows the action to produce epic selfie videos

Want to capture more epic action selfies? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action. Using a handful of different modes, the camera works to keep the action in the frame.
Photography

Sony crams its best camera tech into the new $900 A6400

Love Sony's autofocus, but can't stomach the full-frame price? The Sony A6400 mirrorless camera uses some of the same autofocus technology and the processor of the A9 in a compact, more affordable crop-sensor camera.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Photography

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…
Photography

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.
Photography

Olympus teaser shares glimpse of OM-D camera that’s good for more than sports

Is Olympus about to release a new mirrorless camera geared toward sports photographers? The latest teaser offers a glimpse of an upcoming OM-D camera set to launch on January 24, and by the looks of the teasers, it's capable for landscapes…
Photography

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Photography news: Careful, self-driving cars can ruin your camera sensor

In this week's photography news, learn how self-driving cars destroyed a digital camera via lasers. Find out how many patents Canon filed for in 2018. Read about what Tamron lenses are available for the Nikon Z6.